fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "security keeping fee" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "the consignment" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "consignment " (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Hon. Brett S. Peterson" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2021 12:07:17 +0100
Subject: your package
I have registered your Compensation Fund of ($8.2million) with DHL
Courier Company with registration code of (011-827-8947) for 72hours
Delivery. I packaged the total sum in a Consignment Box sealed as
Church Gift & succeeded in it with DHL Courier Company to ensure the
delivery is complete within 72hours as we agreed. What you have to do
is to contact them with the given information below and reconfirm your
home Address, phone number and office address to them.
Mr. Richard UDO
DHL Courier Company
Benin Republic West Africa,
E-mail: ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Base on the charge involve for the delivery, I have paid the entire
fee involved for the Delivery except their Security Keeping Fee of
(US$69.00) which you have to pay them as beneficiary of the
Consignment. NOTE that as soon as you pay them the Security Fee your
Delivery will take place and arrive to your home or Office within
72hours. Please indicate the registration Number of (011-827-8947) to
them when contacting or calling them with this information Tel:
+229-6964-0574 E-mail: (email@example.com)
Hon. Brett S. Peterson